On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


The skies over the city will remain cloudy today and tonight with colder temperatures. The high will be near 49° with the low around 36°. The Japanese Education Mission has arrived in Philadelphia. These professors from the Orient are touring our country to study American teaching methods and exchange ideas. Today the Mission will visit Independence Hall. Afterwards they will visit the Wanamaker Department Store where a luncheon will be provided by Mr. John Wanamaker and attended by city officials and representatives of Philadelphia’s educational establishment.

The American International Shipbuilding Corporation has promised it will have the shipyard at Hog Island operating at full capacity by January 1, 1918. That is an enormous undertaking as Hog Island is projected to be the largest shipbuilding yard in the world. More pressing now is where the workers who will build the yard and those that will operate it will live. An estimate 30,000 men will be needed for the work. Many of these workers will bring their families with them thereby at least doubling that number. The city and the Federal government are exploring housing options such as new construction around the site and rental of other structures nearby that can be converted into apartment buildings.

The city of Philadelphia will bear the cost of shipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gift packages to Philadelphia men in training at Camp Meade, Camp Hancock and Camp Dix. Packages must be taken to room 202 in City Hall for collection. For those wishing to send Christmas packages to our boys overseas please have your packages mailed by this Thursday, November 15. That will ensure that the gifts will be received in time for Christmas.


Today all American aviators who had been flying with the French were formally commissioned as officers in the United States Army aviation service. This transfer includes those flyers with the famous Lafayette Escadrille.

On the Italian front the Austro-Hungarian army has entered Feltre, an important railroad town near the Piave River. Feltre is only 62 miles from Venice. British and French troops have now arrived to give support to the Italians. Venice is being evacuated of all military personal so that Germany would have no excuse to bombard the ancient city should its army get within artillery range. From Russia comes news that troops loyal to Premier Kerensky have entered Petrograd. According to the reports the fighting is street to street and barricade to barricade. Supposedly Kerensky’s forces now have the upper hand and the Bolsheviks are retreating.